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We live in a period of time that I never could have imagined. Do you recall when we lived in communities that we were not just neighbors but neighborly, not just friendly but friends? I was born on a dirt street, Jones Avenue in 1931 and in this year of 2016 I can recite from memory every family that lived on the street. We generally knew where and what our children were doing. There were a multitude of friendships made that lasted a lifetime.

Of course people will say times were different and they definitely were different. Our living conditions by some people’s standards would be considered poor, but we never saw ourselves as being poor, because no family on the street went hungry, cold, without clothes, and the neighbors supported each other. There were no day care centers but if mommas went to work the neighbors next door or across the street performed the day care function. All adults Black or White could punish the youths on the street and when our parents arrived home you would be punished again. I was an adult before I ever heard a kid berate and cuss at an adult and it was a 14-year-old boy who not only cussed at her he called her a b—-h. Not one adult on the street had finished high school and most never attended, but the majority of them were determined that their children would. I do not remember anyone who ever dreamed of going to college, but once we were in high school some of us began to work hard and hoped that God would smile on us and God did .We became the next generation and many of us were afforded better opportunities than our parents, with jobs, credit, home ownership, insurance and their children began at a earlier age to focus on college. However many of us made the terrible mistake of stating, “I will never treat my kids in the same manner we were raised.” That was the beginning of the decline of our families.

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